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SI's Coverage of John Wooden


SI looks back at nearly 50 years covering the Wizard of Westwood.

• Wizards In The Land Of OzBy Ray Cave, March 19, 1962With help from a magical guard, a poet and a school principal, UCLA surprised the West and became the most intriguing entry in the NCAA basketball championship.

• Five Midgets And A Wink At NellBy John Underwood, February 24, 1964Johnny Wooden has parlayed those ingredients into the only unbeaten major college team in the country.

• A Press That Panics Them AllBy Mervin Hyman, December 6, 1965UCLA's swarming defensive style exhilarates spectators, upsets opponents and has carried the Bruins to two successive national titles. Now it has become all the rage, and college teams everywhere must prepare to handle the press, whether or not they play UCLA. Here some of the best brains in basketball discuss countermeasures.

• The Two Faces Of The Rubber ManBy Joe Jares, January 6, 1969With or without Lew Alcindor, UCLA's gentle Johnny Wooden is a great coach. Which doesn't mean that everyone loves him.

• Victory By MystiqueBy Joe Jaras, March 30, 1970That special aura of success surrounding UCLA basketball -- the achievement of John Wooden -- surely did not hinder the Bruins at College Park, but the champions earned their glory and their title.

• Court Trial For UCLA's New GangBy William F. Reed, January 10, 1972The jury was still out. Then the Bruin sophomores met well-regarded Ohio State. Verdict: Wooden's boys are at it again.

• Welcome To The BallBy William F. Reed, March 27, 1972This year John Wooden and UCLA will be hosts for the annual NCAA party, which is sufficient in itself to produce hangovers among their guests even before the festivities begin.

• Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny Oh!By Curry Kirkpatrick, April 3, 1972Will he ever stop winning? John Wooden and his UCLA Bruins did it again, and almost everybody was happy except the rest of the country, which might like to swing to another tune, Just once.

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• After 88 Comes ZeroBy Barry McDermott, January 28, 1974That is basketball's arithmetic as UCLA's winning streak is snapped in three tumultuous minutes that woke up the echoes at Notre Dame.

• What A Wiz Of A Win It WasBy Curry Kirkpatrick, April 7, 1975Led by Richard Washington's 28 points, UCLA defeated Kentucky 92-85 to give John Wooden a wonderful retirement gift -- his 10th NCAA title.

• Pursued By A Very Long ShadowBy Sam Moses, November 17, 1975John Wooden is formally retired, and Clean Gene Bartow has arrived at UCLA to coach against a legend.

• The Team Of '64By Frank Deford, March 26, 1979UCLA was just one more school with a basketball team until seven players introduced the Bruins to the art of winning by going 30-0 and taking the NCAA title.

• The March Of The Wooden SoldiersBy Jack McCallum, April 16, 1984Walt Hazzard becomes the fifth coach in a decade to try to reestablish John Wooden's championship tradition at UCLA

• At The Wooden Summer Camp, The Coach Was More Than A Stick FigureBy Jack McCallum, September 17, 1984On his application form for the John Wooden Basketball Encounter, Bob McKay, a Los Angeles attorney, didn't hesitate when he came to the line marked DISEASES. "Slow, can't jump," wrote McKay.

• Call Him IrreplaceableBy Alexander Wolff, April 11, 1988Nobody has been able to fill John Wooden's shoes at UCLA. Now the job is open again.

• The Coach And His ChampionBy Alexander Wolff, April 3, 1989John Wooden had 53 loving years with his wife, Nell. Now she's gone and he struggles alone.

• DynastyBy Richard Hoffer, November 27, 1995UCLA heroes from John Wooden's teams have begotten a basketball generation steeped in their mentor's methods.

• Q&A: John WoodenBy Richard Deitsch, March 31, 2003At 92 the Wizard of Westwood -- who won 10 national titles at UCLA -- still has strong opinions on the game.

• Birth Of A DynastyBy Alexander Wolff, March 19, 2007Only after John Wooden challenged his own coaching methods--and applied new tactics to a headstrong mix of players in 1963--64--did he make his mark at UCLA.